(ThankYourBaby.com) – You probably felt nervous bathing your baby for the first time, with them being all soft-skinned and slippery and with you having to support them so they don’t fall in the water. It can be quite nerve-wracking for inexperienced parents.
Establishing the right time to bathe your baby could be difficult. With babies being so unpredictable, they might be asleep during that scheduled bathing time or might require a feeding then which could be evident with the way they will be throwing tantrums obviously not liking bath time.
The article highlights the best time to bathe baby along with some useful tips to ensure that you always get this important routine right.
Three Things First
When deciding the best time to bathe your baby, keep these three things in mind:-
- Bath time shouldn’t interfere with your baby’s sleep unless you want to bear the full brunt of your little one’s crankiness because they didn’t get enough sleep. You also shouldn’t interrupt your baby’s sleep by waking him just to bathe him.
- Your baby shouldn’t feel cold during bath time; warm your hands before holding him to undress him and make sure you turn the cooling AC off so that the room isn’t cold. If the baby feels cold they will not enjoy the bath and besides, you definitely don’t want your baby getting sick.
- Never bathe your baby when he is hungry; he will definitely not corporate with you and will keep crying for his bottle or reaching out to you so you can nurse him.
Three Best Times To Bathe Baby
Make sure you bathe the baby at the same time every day to establish a routine. There are babies who love being in water from the beginning. Others require time to get used to the water sensation. Just note the baby’s cues and if he doesn’t like baths, simply keep them short.
There are three best times to bathe your baby and they will always depend on the routine you have established; they are as follows:-
- In The Morning
Contrary to the belief that bathing the baby after sunrise increases the likelihood of him catching a cold, bathing the baby in the morning is totally alright.
The baby can’t simply catch a common cold or viral infection by simply feeling cold, they will have to be exposed to the germs or virus that cause the condition for that to be possible.
Bathing your baby in the morning has nothing to do with your baby from falling sick with a cold, cough or common viral infection. (Balan, 2020). Take the necessary measures to ensure that your baby is warm and comfortable enough during bath time.
Also, keep in mind that babies still lack the ability to regulate their body temperature well. They are therefore prone to losing body heat when you take them out of the bath water; therefore wrap them in a hooded towel immediately and pat them dry before diapering them.
Just keep in mind that no matter how careful and protective you are, your baby will at some point catch a cold or a cough, but with good care and lots of cuddles, he will recover.
- In The Afternoon
This could also be a great time to bathe your baby. Most babies love afternoon naps just after lunch time. You can feed them until they are full and then bathe them as way of getting them relaxed and settled properly for the afternoon nap. Just make sure you let their tummy settle after feeding before bathing them.
It is also a great time to bathe your baby, especially if the afternoon is a hot one. Bathing your baby during one of those hot summer afternoons could also be the perfect way of getting them cooled enough to get napping without feeling the discomfort of the intense summer heat.
Still, as much as it is a hot afternoon, do not leave the baby in the water for too long.
- In The Evening
Bathing your baby in the evening is also a great time especially if your baby is a little older and can move around crawling or walking. Remember, bathing them in the evening at nightfall could be the best way to end a day of playing and exploring for your baby.
Besides, at nightfall, they will be dirty enough for you to clean them up for bedtime and they will not catch a cold contrary to the widespread belief. The nightfall baby baths could also be part of your calming bedtime ritual which starts with feeding, bathing, finally lullabies and the much needed long night of sleep.
Baby Bath Tips
Some additional tips to help bath times become yours and baby’s favorite moments are as follows:-
- Follow The Bath With A Feed and A cuddle
After bathing your baby, drying them and clothing them appropriately for the weather, keep your baby even more comfortable and settled for a nap or playtime by following it with feeding.
It could be warm milk from a bottle or from breastfeeding and afterward just cuddle and let the baby enjoy the close and warm contact with you as they drift off to la-la land.
- Bathe Your Baby At The Same Time Every Day
After you are familiar with your baby’s feeding and sleeping pattern, you can establish the right time for his bath. Get her into a routine and strictly follow it every day.
Babies love repetition and once you get them into a predictable routine, they will in time recognize the activities that come next and always look forward to them.
An established daily routine will make things such as bathing and settling them down for sleep a lot easier. Always remember to keep the bath times short if your baby doesn’t like them or stretch them out a little if they love them.
- No Need For A Bath Every Day For The Newborn
You don’t have to bathe your newborn baby every day, a sponge bath is good enough especially if the umbilical cord stump hasn’t fallen off yet and the belly button hasn’t healed. (Staff, 2016), (Pediatrics)Schedule three time a week routine until they are a little older.
Bathing your newborn’s skin too much can cause dryness. Just ensure that on days when you don’t bathe him, properly clean the face, neck and diaper area.
Reasons Why Your Baby Hates Baths
Your baby might still be crying during bath times and that could be due to a number of reasons. If your baby is experiencing any of the situations below, then that could be the reason why they are distressed during bath time.
- A Rash Or A Sore Bottom
Nappy rash is usually common occurrence in babies under one year. Sometimes eczema might have developed causing skin irritation when water and soap come into contact.
An insect bite resulting to a lot of scratching by your baby can cause skin breakage and also cause a stinging sensation during a bath.
The stinging sensation resulting from the sore skin in contact with water could be what is causing your baby to dread bath times.
- Your Overtired Baby
Your baby could be so tired after an active play session that by the time you have fed him, got his water ready, he could be too tired and just longing for sleep. If you notice that as the case, try changing the bath times to earlier or later after his nap.
- A Hungry Baby
The same way a hungry man is an angry man, a hungry baby is worse. Make sure he is well fed and relaxed before bathing him. If he is always hungry during bath time, then he would definitely give you a difficult time during the bath.
- Wrong Water Temperature
The right water temperature for your baby should be 38 degrees C or 100.4 degrees F. The baby would cry and be uncomfortable if the water is hot instead of warm. Do the oldest test of using your elbow to test the water and not your hand. You can use a bath thermometer if not sure.
- Soap In The Eyes
The stinging sensation of soap in the eyes is never pleasant even for you as an adult. If every time you wash your baby and soap gets into their eyes, they will associate bath time with that sensation.
This is why they will squirm, cry and make epic tantrums whenever they realize that it is bath time or they will scream when they realize you want to wash their hair and face.
Read more: 5 Best Soaps For Baby Acne
The solution to the soap in the eyes situation is using a mild baby shampoo that won’t sting when it happens to get in the eyes. A hair-washing visor during bath time could also keep the shampoo and water from reaching the baby’s face.
- No Fun During Bath Time
Are you all brisk and business during bath time because you simply want to get it done quickly? Make bath times fun for your baby by including some bath toys to keep your baby occupied as you clean her.
If the baby has siblings having them nearby and playing with the baby as you wash him could really help; a little music that your baby loves could also help a lot.
After making the necessary changes, in time your baby will overcome whatever is putting him off and bath time will be a time of fun and further bonding as it should be.
Whatever the best time to bathe the baby is for you, just make sure that every bath experience is amazing for your baby, be creative and make it unique every day.
Hopefully, in time he’ll grow out of whatever it is that’s putting him off and bath time will become more enjoyable for you and your baby.